SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – During a press conference Monday, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health secretary, gave an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting December 15th, California will require indoor masking, and the new mandate will be in place until January 15th.

Unvaccinated mega-event attendees must show a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of the event. Mega-events are indoor events with 1,000 or more people and outdoor events with 10,000 or more people.

California is also recommending that travelers get COVID-19 tested 3-5 days before arriving in California.

The new rules are due to a 47% increase in COVID-19 cases across the state of California since Thanksgiving.

“We know people are tired and hungry for normalcy. Frankly, I am too,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Monday.

“That said, this is a critical time where we have a tool that we know has worked and can work.”

As of Monday, California has confirmed 4,886,509 COVID-19 cases and 74,685 deaths.

There are 18,905 new cases (0.4% increase) and 176 new deaths (0.2% increase).

The U.S. reached a grim milestone Sunday of 800,000 deaths related to COVID-19, Reuters reports.

Over 450,000 people in the United States have died after contracting COVID-19 so far in 2021, according to the news service, which added that the total accounts for 57 percent of all U.S. deaths from the illness since the pandemic started. 

“We know that there’s going to be people who don’t necessarily agree with this, who are tired, who aren’t going to mask,” Ghaly said. “We hope that those are few and far between, that most people see the purpose of doing this over the next month as something to protect them and their communities during a very tough time.”